Economy

Indian Railways bets on new Economy AC 3-tier train coach with aircraft-style luxury; check features & images

Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Luxury train travel with economy fares soon! Personalised AC vents and reading lights, USB charging points for every berth and more – these are some of the features passengers can look forward to in a new Economy AC coach by Indian Railways. A prototype Economy AC 3-tier coach with aircraft-style comforts has been rolled out by the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) Kapurthala. The Economy AC coach has 83 berths – 11 more than the conventional AC-3 tier coach which has 72 berths. The space for more coaches has been made by moving the main electrical control below the train – that is underslung.

The new AC coach, which is likely to replace Sleeper coaches in Mail/Express trains, has more comforts than the AC 3-tier coach! “We have tried to make up for the lesser space by providing personalised comfort features to passengers,” Ravinder Gupta, GM of RCF told TOI. “Some of the features match aircraft and luxury cars. All this has been done with only a marginal increase in manufacturing cost,” Gupta said.

More comfortable seats which are also fire-proof

The top 10 salient features of the new Economy AC coach are:

  1. 83 berths as against 72 in AC-3 tier
  2. Personalised AC vents for every berth
  3. Personalised reading lights for every berth
  4. Fire-proof berths with enhanced comfort
  5. Disabled-friendly entry/exit and one divyang-friendly toilet per coach
  6. Modified ladders for climbing middle and upper berths
  7. Personalised socket for charging mobiles and USB points
  8. Snack table with side berth as well
  9. Illuminated seat numbers
  10. 160 kmph speed potential keeping in mind future needs

Personalised AC vent for every berth

Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is upgrading the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals with an aim to run trains at speeds of up to 160 kmph. According to railway officials, sleeper class coaches cannot take speeds greater than 110 kmph, hence there is need for Economy AC coaches that can replace sleeper-class coaches in Mail/Express trains. However, railways has clarified that sleeper coaches will continue to be used in trains running at 110 kmph. The fares for the Economy AC coaches are expected to be higher than sleeper class but lower than AC-3 tier tariff.

Manufactured on the LHB platform

The prototype coach will now be tested by the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), and depending on the feedback, changes will be incorporated in subsequent coaches. The Railway Board has given nod for manufacturing 100 Economy AC coaches in the ongoing financial year and 148 more in 2021-22.

Redesigned ladder to climb to middle and upper berths

The new coaches are also keeping in line with the demand growth for AC travel in the last few years. According to the National Rail Plan, data analysed from 2010-11 to 2017-18 for all passenger categories of Indian Railways shows that railway passengers have grown at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 2% per annum. The maximum growth has been witnessed in AC category out of which AC-3 tier passengers have increased at CAGR of 10.33%.

Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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